Where We Started
Fittingly, the idea for Conservation Corps North Bay took root on a running trail in the Marin Headlands back in 1981. Richard Hammond was taking his daily run and noticed the trails were in disrepair. He began formulating a summer project for his teenage sons and their friends.
His hope was that this small project would instill in his boys a sense of personal responsibility for maintaining Marin’s abundant natural resources and perhaps prepare them for careers in community service.
After the success of his summer project and spurred by the floods in 1982, Hammond enlisted the aid of forward thinking community leaders to create a program designed to engage and empower youth by teaching them to cultivate and preserve the environment.
From these humble beginnings, the country’s first local non-profit conservation corps was born.
Where We Are Today
Over the years, Conservation Corps North Bay has flourished, becoming a national leader in the local corps movement. Since our inception, we’ve helped more than 12,000 young men and women break the cycle of poverty while serving the environment and community.
We now provide year-round job training and education services to 250 youth. Our programs prepare young people from all corners of the North Bay to become strong environmental leaders, develop an ethic of service and create strong, sustainable communities.
In all, our volunteers and corpsmembers have performed nearly three million hours of work on 150,000 acres of public lands. If you haven’t seen them scattered throughout the county cheerfully doing their work, you’ve certainly seen the results of their labors in pristine trails, clear rivers and streams, fewer wildfires, reduced carbon footprint, as well as reduced crime in your neighborhood.
In short, we teach youth with uncertain futures to create a better present and future for all of us.
Facts and Stats – Our Numbers Tell the Story
Total budget for fiscal year 2016-17: $7,103,197.
The information below is from Fiscal Year 2015-16.
Corpsmember Demographics—Whom We Serve
- 83% come from families with annual incomes of $15,000 or less.
- 32% of our corpsmembers have dependent children.
- 41% are Hispanic, 30% are Caucasian, 16% are African American, 13% are Asian or other.
- 22 corpsmembers earned their high school diploma through the John Muir Charter School, the accredited on-site high school at Conservation Corps North Bay.
- 91% of English language learners advanced by at least one language level (as measured by National Reporting System standards) after four months in the program.
- 91% of corpsmembers who completed the program were employed or enrolled in college or both within one month of leaving.
- 86% of working alumni improved their income, with 33% earning more than $11 an hour.
- 608 collection points in Sonoma and Marin Counties were serviced weekly or biweekly, yielding 596,120 pounds of mixed recyclables diverted from landfills.
- 83,782 lbs. of electronic waste were diverted from landfills.
- 2,526 discarded tires were collected from parks, waterways and bays, and recycled.
- 1,220 storm drains were marked to protect creeks and the San Francisco Bay from dumping of toxic materials.
- Maintained 87 miles of trails, installed 63 stairs, and built 1,432 feet of new trail to support public access to lands including the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and the Marin Municipal Water District.
- Reduced fire fuels on 288 acres to limit the risk of wildfires in North Bay communities.
- Restored and improved 64 miles of local creeks, streams, and waterways to prevent flooding and maintain native fish habitat.
- Cleared invasive plant species from 47 acres of conservation areas.
- Planted over 7000 native trees and shrubs to restore coastal ecosytems.
- Removed 20 tons of litter from public spaces, including 11 homeless encampments.
- Improved infrastructure and accessibility for 14 public facilities and 9 parks
- Installed 247 low-flow toilets to reduce water consumption.